Sarah Connor, Mother of the Year
May 10, 2012
In celebration of Mother's Day, I would like to revisit a beloved TV show that was cancelled long before its time. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was an extraordinary effort, continuing the saga of Sarah and John Connor’s battle against Skynet. Set chronologically after Terminator 2: Judgment Day, TSCC bypasses Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, and leads in a different direction. Once again, a terminator is sent back in time to protect John. With her help, the Connors jump eight years into the future in an attempt to try to avert Judgment Day once and for all.
Charley Dixon: What was that thing that you always said? There is no fate but what we make. Remember?
Sarah Connor: The more I think about it, the more I realize my fate was made before we met. When John was born.
Charley Dixon: Can’t change it?
Sarah Connor: Not trying to change mine, trying to change his.
Sarah Connor was never fated to be an ordinary mom. Her life is defined by her son, who's destined to save the human race from extinction at the hands of Skynet. Her sole motivation in life, her need to keep John safe at all costs is hardly healthy, but it’s the only thing she has. Any mother can relate to that. You strive to keep your kid safe, whether it’s from skinning their knee, bullies at school, random harm, or killer robots intent on their destruction.
As the show progresses, Sarah has to accept that her son is growing up, growing into the man the human race needs him to be. It's not easy for her to accept this (understatement of the century), but she knows it’s necessary. The story beautifully showcases the naturally evolving relationship between a mother and son in a singular situation as John struggles with his destiny, and Sarah struggles with letting him go.
The entire cast of TSCC is brilliant. Thomas Dekker is perfect as the young John Connor coming to terms with the fate he's always had gunning for him. Summer Glau was born to play Cameron, the terminator sent to protect John. Brian Austin Green, Garret Dillahunt, and Shirley Manson are all excellent. But, it's Lena Headey whose quiet, yet fiercely determined Sarah is the show’s intense center. Sarah’s not sure of herself. She's not certain she’s doing the right thing for her son. She simply tries her best, which is all any mother can do.
There is no fate but what we make,